An Alternative Programme For Government

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Celebrating their General Election victories at the weekend, from left: From top: Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein supporters: Paul Murphy and AAA supporters; Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger; Catherine Martin and Eamon Ryan of the Greens; Róisín Shorthall with Soc Dem supporters; Dr Rory Hearne

Is a left-wing government possible?

No wait.

Come back.

Dr Rory Hearne writes:

So the election dust is settling a little. So what did people really vote for and what should the Left parties and Independents do about government?

Clearly the people voted to reject the former government of Enda Kenny and, particularly, the Labour Party. The scale of that rejection is a political earthquake even though lots of commentators are trying to downplay this.

The demand for change was the rejection of the ‘recovery’ narrative that promoted an economic recovery and ignored the housing and health crises. It was also a rejection of the promises of USC cuts and instead people wanted investment in public services.

The government, as I have been arguing on Broadsheet and elsewhere for a number of years, absolutely failed to give sufficient priority to the social costs of austerity and the pain that so many people are still suffering.

It was, above all, a rejection of politicians who failed to fulfil the electoral promises and commitments they made. People were angry at the political choices that failed to protect the most vulnerable – children, lone parents, the disabled, the sick, disadvantaged communities – both in cities and rural areas.

So what now?

The Left parties – and I include the broad spectrum in this (Sinn Féin, the AAA-PBP, Social Democrats, Greens and Left Independents) should get together and develop a coherent Programme for Government that they should propose to the Dáil when it meets on March 10.

Combined, they are now a significant block of almost 45 TDs. They could have a rotating Taoiseach with each group having a six-month term. Isn’t it time to shake up our democracy and government?

Their Programme for Government should be called, A Plan for a Fair and Equal Ireland – A Plan for Society’s Recovery – and include the following:

Implementing emergency measures to solve the homelessness crisis

Setting up a Homes and Housing Agency to start building social and affordable housing (NAMA’s land and funding be integrated) on a large scale

The setting up of an Irish National Health Service – providing universal public health for all citizens (from primary care to hospitals, mental health and community services)

Abolishing Irish water, water charges and initiating a referendum to enshrine water as a public good

Abolishing the property charge and replacing it with a wealth tax aimed at those with a net wealth over €1million

Creating a Combat Poverty and Inequality Agency that develops a plan to eliminate child poverty within 5 years

Commit to holding a referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment

Implement a referendum to enable Citizen Initiated Referendums

Implement a referendum to insert economic, social and cultural human rights (right to housing, health) in the Constitution

Reform the Seanad to give voting to all citizens in its elections

Set up a new Infrastructure Plan based on a significant increase in investment in public infrastructure – child care, elderly care, transport, broadband, green technology, housing

Plan to introduce a living wage and strengthen worker’s collective bargaining rights

Restore greater powers to local government

I don’t think there is anything the broad left parties would disagree with here. So why don’t they come together and put this forward as an alternative Programme for Government and seek the backing from TDs in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Labour could decide whether they are going to go back to their social justice roots or continue the path of austerity.

This would show that the Left is serious about government and that it has a clear policy platform. It would also show whether Fianna Fáil is serious or not about a fair Ireland.

Fianna Fáil understood the mood of the people and explicitly made the case for investing in public services over tax cuts and contrasted themselves with the government’s approach.

They presented a ‘centre Left’ campaign during the election and stole the policy ‘clothes’ of the Left. So where do they stand? Will they go back to their right-wing and corrupt policies of the Celtic Tiger era or take a new direction?

A Programme For A Fair and Equal Ireland, presented publicly by the Left parties, would be a good opportunity to explain to the people of Ireland what exactly the Left stands for and how it concretely proposes to achieve a fair, equal and sustainable Ireland.

It would show that the Left is not just divided and torn apart, incapable of mounting a serious challenge and taking power.

This would also really represent the desire for real change expressed by the people in this election. This democratic will should be the main focus in the formation of a new government rather than a narrow discussion around personalities and party interests.

People have voted for society to be given as much priority as the economy. They have voted for a fair and equal Ireland which has high quality public services. This represents a significant shift in the political value base of voters.

There is an onus on this block of broad Left TDs to come together and put forward a coherent policy alternative that could achieve an Ireland of social justice and equality.

They should not repeat the mistakes of the Labour Party and compromise on their core policies. They should only enter government if their mandate and policies are fulfilled.

But they do need to step up now and offer a clear alternative direction for a new government.

Dr Rory Hearne is a Senior Policy Analyst with TASC, the Think-Tank for Action on Social Change. His column appears here every Wednesday. Rory is an independent candidate for the Seanad NUI Colleges Panel. Follow him on Twitter: @roryhearne

Rollingnews

119 thoughts on “An Alternative Programme For Government

  1. Padraig

    Rory,

    Never really considered myself a left voter but not much to disagree with in that programme.

    How would you assess people’s homes and farmland for example in the wealth tax?

  2. Cromuel

    If they got together to form a party with 10 agreed principles and goals – let’s say the Grááá party, how many of them would there be?

  3. Clampers Outside!

    No thanks.

    With 29 (Source: Michael Martin) cases of those abused going through real courts, as a result of SF/PIRA Kangaroo Courts it would be a fupping joke for any Shinner to be in any high positions – Taoiseach / Tanaiste – of authority and/or running the country.

    Not even on a shared basis should it be allowed.

    Makes my skin crawl thinking about it.

    1. Iwerzon

      Is there some sort of Godwins type law for mentioning the Ra and SF in every political argument – I suppose you are ok with OIRA/Labour and NCP/Fine Gael. The shinners have a bit of a way to go yet but it is a democracy I’m told and shaking the legacy of a conflict arena with state supported verses geurella players takes time even though the press doesn’t help it’s progress. Slab Murphy convicted on the very same day as the election. I’m not even a shinner but RTÉ and the associated press have been helping the gov bash Gerry at every opportunity over the last couple of years.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Yeah, the constant attacks over things that happened 30 and 40 years ago as opposed to current policies today helped me feel a lot less guilty for sticking a 2 beside their name.

        1. DubLoony

          Some of them are a lot more recent than that.
          Felt sick when Adams said SF stood with working class communities against drugs.
          Read up on the Green Lizard Pub killing. Local IRA trying to muscle in on a cut of the action. The dark side is still strong with them.

          1. Neilo

            Wasting your time coming up with this stuff, DubLoony. The Shinners on this island believe themselves to be – in screenwriting parlance – on their redemption arc and their supporters don’t want nasty, mucky history or current affairs screwing up the story.

          2. Neilo

            Rob_G: thank you for remembering Paul Quinn. His death and the subsequent investigation of the murder remain a travesty.

          3. Rob_G

            @ Neilo

            I was the same age as him; the way that that boy died was one of the most appalling things I have ever heard.

      2. Clampers Outside!

        @Iwerzon
        I am referring to Mary Lou, Gerry and Pearse’s denials of the existence of Kangaroo Courts LAST YEAR… you know 2015, the year before this one.

        And the current cases going through courts. You know, actually happening right NOW as I type, these are being investigated today, in 2016.

        You continue burying your head in the sand like a good Shinnerbot. Oh… everybody blames the Shinner… woe is the Shinner…. well, F**k ’em!

        F**k ’em real good, just like they f**ked children.

        They’re just scum who have proven that they will put protection of their party foremost and will put children’s lives at risk in order to do so.

        That has been proven by Gerry’s own admission of “expulsions” of these sick sexual predators into the South.

      3. Clampers Outside!

        @Iwerzon
        I am referring to Mary Lou, Gerry and Pearse’s denials of the existence of Kangaroo Courts LAST YEAR… you know 2015, the year before this one.

        And the current cases going through courts. You know, actually happening right NOW as I type, these are being investigated today, in 2016.

        You continue burying your head in the sand like a good Shinnerbot. Oh… everybody blames the Shinner… woe is the Shinner…. well, Fupp ’em!

        Fupp ’em real good, just like they fupped children.

        They’re just scum who have proven that they will put protection of their party foremost and will put children’s lives at risk in order to do so.

        That has been proven by Gerry’s own admission of “expulsions” of these sick sexual predators into the South.

        (It’s OK BS, I moderated my own comment)

        1. :-Joe

          So, let me get this straight, you don’t think SF should get into government?…

          “They’re just scum who have proven that they will put protection of their party foremost and will put children’s lives at risk in order to do so.”
          – Hmm.. sounds familiar…. like idk… maybe EVERY establishment government around the world !!

          I don’t like any of the established parties but there comes a point where in the short term you have a choice. More of the same or something different.

          It’s FG/FF or another option.

          No other option can work in the short term without SF,
          – but don’t worry we can kick them out later…

          E = mc 2

          :-J

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Sorry, I hadn’t realised that “EVERY establishment government around the world” ran Kangaroo Courts and set paedophiles and rapists free to prey on their own citizens or citizens of their neighbouring countries.

            That’s my learned, wha!

          2. LW

            I dunno about every government around the world, but FF+FG have split the governance of the state between them its history, and there were no shortage of paedos free around the place. This is not by way of defence of such activities, but to point out that if we rule out all the parties with dubious pasts in this area we are ruling out 116 TDs

          3. Wayne Carr

            Yeah, the Irish state never colluded with anyone to allow for the rape of children. That was only Sinn Féin.

            The Irish state never colluded with the IRA in the murder of police officers. That was only Sinn Féin.

            No other party looks out for its own interest in Ireland. That was only Sinn Féin.

            No other party had a leader as recently as the 1990s, was involved in attempting to secure arms for a terrorist organisation. That was only Sinn Féin.

            No other parties were involved in organising a watered down report on the Magdalene Laundries, promising action in the Dáil, and then doing nothing about it. That was only Sinn Féin.

            In fact, the Magdalene Laundries only came into existence because of Gerry Adams, and Sinn Féin/IRA/PIRA/RIRA/CIRA.

            The only reason that the silly nationalists and republicans didn’t trust the RUC and the B-Specials in the north was because of Gerry Adams and his thug associates. Many academically-minded people, of which I can name none of now, would back up this assertion. The fact that Gerry initiated courts outside of the RUC is a massive indictment of his character.

            Also, don’t forget Omagh. That was probably Gerry, wasn’t it?

  4. Rob_G

    “Abolishing the property charge…”

    A property tax is almost the most progressive, left-wing form of taxation you could possibly have.

    Ireland: the only country were Trotskyites oppose property taxes…

    1. Jhameso

      The left has evolved a lot from early Russian communism – maybe you should consider not firing McCarthyist labels at it!

      1. Rob_G

        You say that, but then a few months’, we had Comerade Koppinger talking about ‘nationalising’ the Dell factory in Limerick.

        Forced collectivisation sounds pretty in line with “early Russian Communism” to me.

          1. Rob_G

            I never inferred that she was; I was merely defending the appropriateness of my use of the term ‘Trotskyites’.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Welllll;

            ‘The Left are not Trotskyites anymore’
            ‘Coppinger is’

            You can see how | got the inference.

          3. Rob_G

            Ok – Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger are Trots. SF are populists.

            There isn’t a coherent left (well, there never is); the only person seemingly trying to infer that there is is you.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            What? I wasn’t inferring there was a coherent left. In fact, when I asked when Coppinger was made leader of “The Left”, I was inferring the exact opposite of that.

        1. Joe

          “Forced collectivisation” is something the liberal left have gotten very good at…the mob mentality could be what keeps tweedledee and tweedledum going.

    2. Wayne Carr

      For those who love the property tax, should those who have inherited family homes of value be forced to sell them in order to pay off the property tax on the house, even if they, themselves, are not wealthy?

      Along those lines, should people who have bought a house inexpensively, but have then seen it’s value rise dramatically (in Dublin, say) while their own income has remained relatively modest, be forced to move in order to pay the tax?

      I’d love if there was no such thing as a landlord profession. Imagine the increase in supply if everyone was only allowed to have one house? An increase in supply followed by a fall in prices.

      1. Anne

        “Imagine the increase in supply if everyone was only allowed to have one house? ”

        Or allow anyone however many properties they want and just make it less profitable for landlords by way of tax on rents, than them leaving their money in savings accounts..
        But we couldn’t be interfering in the morket like that.. besides interest rates are low. You couldn’t be making a killing on 1 or 2 % PA like..

        That’s not what Nama is about at all – interfering in the morket. That’s just stashing away vasts amounts of developments and houses to keep prices from crashing, but that’s not interfering with the morket at all.

      2. Rob_G

        “… should those who have inherited family homes of value be forced to sell them in order to pay off the property tax on the house, even if they, themselves, are not wealthy?”

        – yes; they can sell the house that they got for free.

        “Along those lines, should people who have bought a house inexpensively, but have then seen it’s value rise dramatically (in Dublin, say) while their own income has remained relatively modest, be forced to move in order to pay the tax?”

        – Ireland needs to broaden its tax base; between adding an extra 1% income tax on someone on €35,000 a year who is unable to afford to buy a house, versus placing a modest tax on people who own assets worth hundreds of thousands of euro, I would go for the latter.

        1. Wayne Carr

          So essentially this is an anti-Dublin tax then? I can’t rent in the city/county I was born in, now I’m being told that the first thing I’ve to do when my other parent dies is sell the family home. Lovely and punitive! The fact that loads of tax was already paid on the house isn’t enough? No tax on people who are cash rich, no?

          Re: ownership of property. My heart really bled for the Fianna Fáil politician who had to considering selling SOME of his properties when rent controls were brought in. You can tell that landlord politicians are looking out for the people.

    3. Kevin Hamill

      This is not a property tax, It is a Family Home Tax and therefor should be abolished.
      Don’t get me wrong, we do need to introduce a proper property tax on all investment property, I am not including land that a farmer buys to develop his farm but I do include land bought by investors for renting

    1. :-Joe

      Ye, I agree,

      in the long term he is much better suited to political science and analysis.

      Sure, the real world probably pays a lot of money and you get a lot of publicity but it’s a tired idea and nobody takes reality programmes seriously any more.

      :-J

  5. Cian

    A left wing government isn’t possible with who was elected as SF are running scared of actually having to govern and PBP-AAA never wanted to anyway. Much better to have a platform to roar and slander from than actually *do* anything.

    1. LW

      That’s a wonderful sentiment, echoed up and down the country though various media, but given the inevitable fate of small parties in government, and the recent glaring example the electorate made of labour, what possible rationale could you offer for the parties you mention going into government with the two big boys?

      1. Cian

        If they want to continue roaring at Labour for “not keeping promises” they need to prove they’re capable of doing it in coalition – because they’re never not going to be in coalition as the days of single party government ended here a very long time ago.

        1. LW

          Maybe, but it’s highly unlikely they’d be able to keep those promises with FG, and at least moderately unlikely with FF. It’s perfectly valid to roar at Labour for not keeping promises, as they didn’t keep promises. To my mind, it’s less valid to complain that 29 TDs aren’t forming a government.

          1. Cian

            They’re actively turning away from a chance to be in government and try do some of what they promised. Unless they’re willing to try, they can cease roaring at those who did.

          2. LW

            What are they actively turning away from Cian? In the case of AAAPBP, they promised to only be part of a left-wing government

        2. :-Joe

          Your logic is completely flawed… think about what your saying…

          Join a failed system and try to fix it from the inside where history has proven that no other coalition party has succeeded or survived becoming a scape-goat or being obliterated before… Ye that sound’s great….

          or…

          Join a new and improved alternative as soon as possible and help to create that option while refusing to sell out to greed for the illusion of power in the short term by ignoring the temptation from the mind tricks of the establishment parties who will say anything and do anything to keep control of the economy to enjoy the fruits of inequality…. Eh.. ye, I think that sounds a lot better. Let’s do that instead.

          :-J

          1. Cian

            So – do nothing and sit on the sidelines achieving nothing, knowing that there’s every chance a newly populist FF will steal your clothes?

            Worked well for Labour in the 20s and 50s, didn’t it?

            They have one chance to enter government and they’re doing everything they can to avoid it

          2. Nigel

            ‘Do nothing and sit on the sidelines’

            You haven’t been paying attention to how government works in this country at all/

          3. :-Joe

            @Cian

            Anyone who enters government with FF/FG is signing away their reputation and future and may never recover from it.

            I know it, you know it and anyone with half a clue knows it too.

            Repeating all the “no action”, “megaphone left” etc. style comments are just boring stereotypical sound-bites that reduce your argument to mud slinging and betray any intelligence.you might have.

            It’s possible there may be an exception but If you look at all the PBP/AAA and all the other independents and cannot find at least one valuable contribution they have made in the last five years as sitting elected TD’s then you are not looking hard enough or you are just daft….

            Most of the common sense ideas and demands for policy change are ONLY coming from the so-called “left”.

            Mark my words, the first group of politicians to give in to greed and coalesce with FF/FG this time round will know soon enough what it’s like to be Labour now or the Greens before them five years ago.

            Why would they want to support the madness and encourage even more regressive policies and inequality.

            Fair play to those who stick to their beliefs and wait for their opportunity.

            :-J

          4. Nigel

            No you put together an effective Opposition, you hammer the government mercilessly until the next election and then you capitalise on the almost atavistic sympathy the electorate seems to have for anyone who calls a government on its bullpoo, however hypocritical – cf FF. It’s like the very idea of playing a medium-to-long game is an affront to some people, even, or especially, when it’s the only realistic course of action.

          5. :-Joe

            @Nigel:
            “Hammering” the FF/FG bhoys party is futile as a long term strategy because your just hammering the majority share of voters temporarily.

            If this country is mostly conservative, a percentage of those voters need to be convinced there is a need for them to change their ideology for a more progressive Ireland.

            Otherwise, the bhoys in opposition will just unite and bounce back even more motivated, more aggressive and slippery than before.

            :-J

          6. Cian

            You basically just described sitting on the sidelines and roaring but in far, far more words.

            They’ve been given a chance to actually implement some of their policies but they’re picking another five years of roaring instead.

            If you can’t see how ‘suggesting’ policies from opposition is ineffective it is you that hasn’t got much of an idea about how Irish politics works. At absolute best you’ll have any passable ideas swiped by someone else who’ll get more votes than you.

          7. LW

            “They’ve been given a chance to actually implement some of their policies but they’re picking another five years of roaring instead”

            Cian you’re absolutely committed to this viewpoint, but what chance are you actually referring to? Are you talking about some coalition pact that was offered and refused? Do you know that the TDs aren’t currently talking amongst themselves as how to best proceed? Do you think there’s absolutely no benefit to being in parliament unless you’re in government? Do you think that no new parties should ever enter the fray unless they can guarantee a majority on their first outing? Or are you just sitting on the sidelines and roaring?

          8. Nigel

            They’ve been given a chance to actually implement some of their policies

            No they haven’t. Not yet.

      2. Rob_G

        You’re right – it’s a lot easier to grumble about what the govt is doing wrong than to actually try and implement policies of your own.

        1. :-Joe

          It’s actually very hard to fight through the endless contempt that the government has for the majority it’s own citizens that are not part of their equation. Especially difficult when the system is rigged against descenting opinion and the ability for opposition to enact any changes without elected official approval and whatever the civil service wants to do.

          Do you even read manifesto’s from the parties?.. All of them have set out their own policies that they would like to implement if given a mandate from the people, that’s hopefully the main reason why voters have chosen them to be elected.

          :-J

        2. Nigel

          It’s not that easy to be an effective Opposition, actually. We don’t just need to supplant FF/FG as chief governing parties, but also as chief opposition parties. Being really good in Opposition is part of what keeps getting them into government at the other side of the electoral cycle.

          1. :-Joe

            Ye, I mostly agree but that is a long, long way off if it ever happens. Erode their base and convert them to more social leaning voters.

            In opposition it would be a vastly different situation for them against another “left” leaning non bhoys FF/FG party. In it’s current form it’s far too easy for them to keep it rotating between them and they know it.

            Both of them would complement each other in opposition and it would be a lot more lively than we’ve seen in recent years. Maybe they would have to join to form a new party and be true to their nature and reality of being two halves of the one main conservative party like the Tory’s in Britain.

            :-J

  6. b

    “Combined, they are now a significant block of almost 45 TDs. They could have a rotating Taoiseach with each group having a 6 month term.”

    maths not your strong point Rory?

      1. Rob_G

        Well, there is 158 TDs in the Dail (157 + ceann comhairle), so 45 seats does not a workable coalition makes.

        1. b

          indeed – 45 TDs does not a significant block make

          the whole proposition is baseless, they wouldn’t pass a bill, let alone elect a Taoiseach

          1. :-Joe

            You heard it here first, folks.

            Out of the 45 elected so called “left” TD’s none are fit for purpose.

            :-J

          2. LW

            45/158 is a litle under a third, and is certainly a significant block, compare with FF on 44 and FG on 49 – and both of those are being mooted as minority governments. I think it’s not beyond consideration that FF/FG would let such an arrangement go ahead, waiting for it to combust

          3. Rob_G

            @ LW

            – I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that FF or FG could have a single-party minority govt…

  7. Tony

    “There is an onus on this block of broad Left TDs to come together and put forward a coherent policy alternative that could achieve an Ireland of social justice and equality.”

    You lost me at coherent.

  8. OldSchoolT

    As a Green voter, I can’t figure out the entrenched opposition to water charges (of any kind). We need to differentiate between water as a public good and free. Why shouldn’t people pay for their water usage, on the polluter pays system, where above a certain limit, you pay for your metered water? Yes, the setting up of Irish Water was a complete fiasco, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water (!). If you think that water should be free, then put a barrel outside your window and use that. Water needs to be collected, transported and filtered/ cleaned. All of which costs money. If you want it to be free at the point of use then increase general taxation. But I for one do not want to pay for some banker’s jacuzzi or swimming pool through my taxes.

    1. Medium Sized C

      There is a middle road between NO WATER TAXES and YES WATER CHARGES.

      It involves metered, progressive charges, above an allowance administered by an actually accountable public body who work over and with county council engineers.

      It means that people who can’t afford to pay for water won’t pay as long as they aren’t profligate with water.
      People who use a lot of water have to pay for the excess, with a lower rate for a certain volume over the allowance. People who have huge houses with fountains perfect lawns and hot-tubs end up paying a shite load.

      Of course you would have to install actual smart metering.
      And you’d need the county councils to actually play ball.
      And you’d need people to grow the feck up and accept that treated water and waste water management isn’t free.
      And you’d still need a large upfront investment for the meters.

      But it isn’t unreasonable.

      1. Lilly

        + 1

        What many people object to is the waste involved in setting up Irish Water: the usual suspects lining their pockets, the crony contracts, ludicrous consultant fees etc.

    2. LW

      The problem with water charges isn’t actually the charges, in my opinion. It’s, as you mention, the fiasco around setting it up, and the timing. The timing of an extra charge was the straw on the camel’s back. The arrogance of Hogan and then Kelly in dealing with a clearly angry public. The question marks around the awards of contracts. Hogan claiming that he hadn’t authorised millions in consultancy fees, then his signature turning up on the authorisation. The strong suggestions that it was going to be privatised. It was like a case study in what not to do. So at this stage, a large chunk (the majority?) of the Dáil have been elected on promises to axe the charges, and it would be beyond foolish to renege. They’ll be brought in more carefully in years to come, I imagine.

    3. Neilo

      I agree that the provision of water need to be properly financed. I don’t object to paying a charge despite IW’s jaw-dropping ineptitude.

    4. :-Joe

      Water should be a basic human right and a quota provided as part of general taxation up to a certain point as a fair usage allowance per person.

      I don’t think any rational person can have a problem with water meters and a fair and equitable system for the purpose of quality control, conservation and fair use taxation.

      The entrenched opposition you are talking about includes people with exactly the same opinions as yourself.

      Welcome to the twilight zone.

      :-J

  9. LW

    I agree with Rory, the time has certainly come for the left to put together a coherent, reasonable, set of suggestions, MMartin was first out of the traps with it, a smart move

  10. Jimmy 2 tones

    Who has destroyed The Republic of Ireland over the last 100 years?….the right have….no one else.

    1. ColintheDachshund

      Destroyed? Do you really feel like you live in country that is actually destroyed? You may need to adjust your perspective and/or language

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            The richest country in Europe where about half the country were living on less than €18k a year as little as 3 years ago. Remember, people; trickle down economics is bullsh1t.

          2. Rob_G

            Most countries in the world can only dream of €18k a year. People in Ireland don’t know how well they’ve got it.

          3. Cup of tea anyone?

            Rob_G It is not the income that matters but the disposable income. 18k a year might be great in other countries where cost of living is low. But in Ireland where you can barely rent a house for under 10k a year it is not that much.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            I really hope was reacting before thinking there because that was a ridiculous statement. I’m sure he’ll know that 18k goes a hell of a lot further in most other countries to Ireland. I’m sure he’ll know that €1,500 a month is very difficult to live on when the average rent in our capital is over €1000 a month.

    2. Junkface

      They haven’t destroyed the country, but conservative Irish Governments have treated the people with contempt. Ireland has never had a good Government. Short sighted politics (look at Housing & Healthcare) and populist politics has always been the way here. They only work to get elected, then once elected turn corrupt and collect money and pensions. Repeat to infinity

  11. poppy

    I expect the mother who shoplifted 2 packets of corned beef and a lump of cheese to feed her hungry children isnt in the least bit worried about putting a barrel under her window for rainwater. Feed the hungry, house the homeless, sort out the floods and the hospitals should be prioritized by the 2 elected green party candidates.

    1. Continuity Jay-Z

      Who the fück steals corned-beef an lumps of cheese to feed children? This isn’t post-war Königgsburg!

      1. Neilo

        The birthplace and home of Immanuel Kant: the great German philosopher who never set foot in what we now know as Germany (hat tip: Neil McGregor’s History Of Germany in 14 Objects)

        1. Continuity Jay-Z

          Sexsual. Listen to how McGregor pronounces it.

          It was a good series but I think it would have ben better with Conor McGregor as the presenter. They’re would have been more pazzazz..

    2. Nigel

      People living hand-to-mouth is not an excuse for people in a position of power to engage in short-term thinking that will ultimately lead to more people living hand-to-mouth and thirsty with it.

  12. ahjayzis

    Have the AAA not shown that you need to completely 100% agree with everything they say and how they say it in order not to be a class-traitor and shunned? They dumped People Before Profit under 5 years ago for insufficient purity – they are NEVER going to do business with anyone.

    People need to stop pretending that the AAA are pretending they’re anything other than a protest movement. Protest movements are good, needed – but interested in government? Nope.

        1. :-Joe

          How do I know you are not bluffing me now as some kind of ingenious triple bluff ?…

          Uh-oh… my brain is entering the vortex… again!

          :-J

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      Are you REALLY that unable to understand academic titles?

  13. :-Joe

    The so-called “left” and “left-wing” terminology is a huAge part of the problem as usual. If you read the policies and manifesto’s and look at the history of broken promises you can clearly see who cares about social issues and who doesn’t.

    Just read the empirical evidence, the clear and detailed facts and stop dumbing yourselves and everyone else around you further down the helter skelter with the same nonsense smears, cliches and lies from the media, vested interests and random deluded idiots who don’t know what they’re talking about. Including me.

    Form your own opinion and make up your own mind. The basic burning question needs to answered by everyone. Do you want FF or FG to continue to run the country or do you want to try an alternative? If you want an alternative you are still going to have to try to convince FF / FG supporters to change their minds as well because there are just simply too many of them willing to go along with the charade of RED Vs BLUE team within the same private sport.

    Yes, I’m saying it and it’s twice as hard because not only do you have to commit to social policies over greedy corrupt economic policies but you will have to convince others to do so too for the future good of everyone in Ireland.

    If the so-called”left” create an alternative option now or by the next election it won’t matter much either way. It would only encourage the so-called”right” to join together more quickly to protect their shared overall main agenda which is to maintain control of the economy and future economic policies.

    Hopefully this merger will happen to some degree sooner rather than later and by the next election cycle enough treachery, lies and dirty tricks will have played out again to change some of the Irish majority, who are mostly FF voters, to turn their backs on the current FineFailed political system and become more social minded.

    If you want an alternative government without SF you will be waiting 10-15 years at least to make up the numbers from more independents, a resurgent Labour. or a new party. During this long wait, time will prove yet again that politicians get greedy in opposition and some will sell out and make up the numbers again to prop up another FineToFail system, ignoring the lessons of the past and repeating the same mistakes.

    If you want an alternative, convince more people to move to the so-called “centre” or “centre-left” from the “right”. It should be relatively easy if you ignore the hype and just look at the policies and the record of politicians and parties previously in government .

    Remember, unless a very large percentage of the majority slice of voters in Ireland turn their backs on the FineToFail and FineGobsh1te parties, nothing much will change, a few more token gestures and it’s more insanity onwards and downwards and backwards…..

    & The beatings will continue until moral improves………

    :-J

    1. Anne

      Well said Joe..

      Re – “Hopefully this merger will happen to some degree sooner rather than later and by the next election cycle enough treachery, lies and dirty tricks will have played out again to change some of the Irish majority, who are mostly FF voters, to turn their backs on the current FineFailed political system and become more social minded.”

      I’ve been thinking the same.. Tweedledee and Tweedledum joining forces will be the best thing for this country in the long run and they’ll probably have to too.

  14. No, the other one

    This guy….houses won’t solve the homeless problem, taxing the rich won’t work as they’ll wangle out of it or move away, where are his ideas for innovation, export, access to education, tourism, future planning? I would challenge any group of 45 people to agree on and put a proposal together in one week with a cohesive political stance and plan….make that 45 politicians and you’re talking impossible.

    1. :-Joe

      it’s not that complicated, a lot of them agree on a number of important issues already.

      Many more than 45 could easily agree on ten significant policies that make basic common sense and debate the finer technical issues of more complex issues like the economy and also find a way to compromise where necessary for the greater good.

      It just needs the political willpower to do the right thing and there is far more of it on the so-called “left”.

      :-J

  15. Truth in the News

    We need to revisit the “Democratic Programme of the First Dail”
    Its time Kenny was removed from Office and along with Noonan, this
    outfit have continued to wreck the country, the people have spoken
    Will it take another march in Dublin to get rid of them.

    1. some old queen

      Until recently, a belt of the crozier and a few gossip words at the parish pump would have knocked any idea of individualism out of you young pups. The Protestants complied because they had big old houses to heat.

      Now we have foreign ideas like a national health service upsetting the Democratic Unionist Party up north so just spray some bleach on the lizard Noonan and he will disappear back to where he came from.

  16. Collie

    I cannot believe I am reading this article. Most of the left leaning people were elected on an Alternative programme for government. It exists already it’s called the Right2Change. What do you think people have been doing protesting up and down the length of the country. The Right2Change is a viable costed programme and those that signed up for it have an obligation to implement it right now.

  17. Mark McAuley

    Rory, do you know that 46 TDs all agree with the (1Yi) One Year Initiative – a process guaranteed to implement political reform rather than just talk and rhetoric. Not a word of it in the media either. It’s as if people don’t want power. Check out: http://www.1yi.ie

  18. Brian Gould

    Do we need 4 Referendum ?
    Not one mention of Our Oil Gas in Public Ownership

    What is the ”LEFT” ??
    Rhetoric, Slogans, Group Think,

    Reform of Trade Unions — All Trade Unions Officials should be Elected by its members

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